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Divisional rankings: Middleweight

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings. Plus, check out our women's pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results through April 17.

Divisional Rankings

Heavyweight | Light heavyweight
Middleweight | Welterweight | Lightweight
Featherweight | Bantamweight | Flyweight
Women's bantamweight | Women's strawweight


MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 185 POUNDS)

1. Michael Bisping (30-7)
The UFC champion recorded his first defense in October, but it was a more difficult fight than many expected going in. Dan Henderson gave Bisping all he could handle in a five-round fight. Contenders are licking their chops at the thought of taking Bisping's belt. He has a rather large target on his back.
Next: TBD

2. Luke Rockhold (15-3)

Rockhold's UFC title reign was short-lived, as he went down in the first round of his first title defense -- against an opponent who came in on two weeks' notice. Did he take Bisping too lightly? Whether he did or not, the Brit knocked him out cold at UFC 199.
Next: TBD

3. Yoel Romero (12-1)
Romero missed the first half of 2016 with an anti-doping issue, but after receiving a reduced suspension due to a successful tainted supplement defense, he bounced back in full force with a spectacular knockout over Chris Weidman. He may very well be the best pure athlete in the sport.
Next: TBD

4. Gegard Mousasi (41-6-2)
Mousasi finished out his UFC contract on a disappointing note. While he defeated Chris Weidman at UFC 210 in April, the finish came under a storm of controversy thanks to a referee error. Nevertheless, it goes down as a TKO win.
Next: TBD

5. Robert Whittaker (17-4)

April marked Whittaker's coming out party, as he knocked out the great Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in the second round of their UFC fight in Kansas City. That's seven wins in a row, and one heck of a signature win to hang his cap on.
Next: TBD

6. Jacare Souza (24-5)

Souza probably should have been granted a UFC title shot a long time ago, but that's not about to change following his shocking knockout loss to Whittaker. It goes without saying: Souza has plenty of bounce-back potential, but this loss is a big one.
Next: TBD

7. Chris Weidman (13-2)
The slide continues for Weidman, although he adamantly disputes the result of his last fight against Gegard Mousasi at UFC 210. Weidman was ruled the loser via TKO after Mousasi landed a knee that was initially declared illegal, then legal. Next: UFC Fight Night on July 22, vs. Kelvin Gastelum

8. Derek Brunson (16-5)
Technically, Brunson has lost two straight, but most would agree he beat Anderson Silva when they met at UFC 208 and was robbed of the decision. So, no harm to his ranking here.
Next: UFC Fight Night on June 10, vs. Daniel Kelly

9. Lyoto Machida (21-6)
The former light heavyweight champion made an immediate splash at 185 pounds in 2013, but he has dropped three of four. He's also been finished in his past two and is now under suspension for an anti-doping violation. Not a good stretch.
Next: TBD

10. David Branch (21-3)
A former two-weight champ in WSOF, Branch returned to the UFC for the first time since 2011 and picked up a win over Krzysztof Jotko. It wasn't the most riveting performance, but a successful return is a successful return.
Next: TBD